4 Best Electric Guitar for Clean Tone (2023)

Are you looking for an electric guitar that delivers a pristine clean tone? 

A crystal-clear clean tone delivers a pure unadulterated sound for popular genres like blues and jazz. 

However, with the growing popularity of electric guitars, it can take a lot of effort to find the best guitar for a clean tone. You will need to consider various aspects like the type of wood, pickups, neck, among other features, to find a good match.

So, keep reading to see the top contenders that will help you achieve the ultimate clean tone on your guitar. 

Best Electric Guitar for Clean Tone- Reviewed

Ibanez JEM77P Steve Vai Signature JEM

This guitar is known for its iconic blue floral pattern, which has become synonymous with Steve Vai’s signature sound. Ibanez JEM77P Steve Vai’s signature stands out because of its unique and stylish design. It features a unique tree of life inlay pattern.

The guitar not only excels in design and color but also has the best materials and high-quality workmanship. It has a solid body basswood which contributes to its great resonance and high sustain, making it an ideal guitar for clean tones. In addition, the guitar has a maple fretboard and a walnut neck with perfect finishing.

If you are looking for a guitar with incredible tuning stability and comfort, this guitar is a great option for you; it has an acclaimed Edge Zero II tremolo with a lower profiled design for playing comfort, and locking studs contribute to tuning stability.

The guitar is designed to give you a variety of tones. It comes with a pair of DiMarzio Gravity Storm humbuckers and a DiMarzio Evolution single-coil in the middle position. These pickups are originally designed by Ibanez.


  • Comes with single coil and humbucker pickups
  • Cool design
  • Incredible tuning stability
  • Quality workmanship


  • It does not come set up

ESP LTD EC-1000 Duncan Electric Guitar

If you are a professional musician looking for an affordable high-quality electric guitar for clean tones, the ESP LTD EC-1000 Duncan is a good option for you. 

This guitar is designed with high-quality mahogany, apart from the ebony fretboard. The guitar features an exquisite vintage black color that gives it a unique touch.

The guitar features premium hardware in a gold color, plus a beautiful binding with quality workmanship. This guitar delivers a clean tone thanks to the wood quality, and its classic Seymour Duncan JB/’59 passive pickups, which are known for their versatility and ability to handle a wide range of musical styles.

In addition, the guitar has a thin U-shape neck and smooth satin finish, making its playability great. The guitar also features a TonePros TOM bridge and tailpiece, which helps to keep the guitar in tune and sustain notes for longer periods.


  • Great playability
  • Vintage color
  • Passive pickups
  • Smooth satin finish
  • Awesome tone


  • It is heavy

Fender Squier Stratocaster

The Fender Squier Stratocaster is an Amazon best-seller guitar. If you are looking for a good electric guitar for a clean tone on a low budget, this guitar is perfect. This guitar is beginner friendly and is designed to offer players a budget-friendly option without sacrificing quality.

The guitar features a combination of maple and poplar wood, giving it a lightweight feel without compromising on durability. If you are one to travel for gigs or play for long hours, this guitar is a great option due to its portability. In addition, the guitar comes with a durable gig bag for storage during travel.

This guitar comes as a complete package. Therefore, you do not have to undergo the extra cost of purchasing additional electronics especially if you are a beginner player.

If you want the classic strat tone, this guitar has a tremolo bridge for classic pitch effects and awesome single-coil pickups. The guitar comes with a headphone jack pin to allow beginners to practice silently.


  • It is affordable
  • Beginner friendly
  • Comes as a complete package
  • Beautiful strat tone


  • A few buzzes when not touching the strings

Fender Player Jazzmaster

This guitar features unique Pau Ferro material on the fingerboard, giving it an exquisite look and an awesome feel. This model comes in a lovely buttercream color that is ideal if you are looking for a bright guitar for live performances.

The guitar features an alder body that delivers balance, and a resonant, bright, clean tone. It also delivers a sharp attack and has good sustain. In addition to the great tone, the vintage-style adjustable bridge sports a floating tremolo tailpiece that is perfect when it comes to adding a personal expression.

The guitar has a modern C-shape neck with smooth contours, to allow you to feel comfortable when playing unique styles. The guitar comes with two-play series humbucking pickups for an awesome warm sound.


  • Durable unique wood material
  • Bright, resonant, and clean tone
  • High playability
  • Great pickups


  • The low E string has a buzz

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Electric Guitar for a Clean Tone


The type of pickups used in an electric guitar affects its tone. If you want a bright tone, go for single-coil pickups.  If you want a warm and full tone, humbuckers are the best. Another thing to consider about the pickups is whether they are active pickups or passive.


Woods, such as ash, have an articulate sound. On the other hand, heavy woods such as mahogany, provide a warmer and fuller tone.

Neck shape

The shape and thickness of the neck are important to consider because it affects the feel and playability of the guitar. Guitarists with small hands are favored by thin necks, while others prefer thicker necks for a more substantial feel.


Which Is the Most Popular Electric Guitar?

Fender Stratocaster is quite popular and efficient as far as electric guitars are concerned.

Do Heavy Electric Guitars Sound Better?

Heavy guitars deliver more sustain and resonance compared to light guitars, making them a fine option.

Which Guitar Brand Is Best for Clean Tones?

Some of the best electric guitar brands for clean tones include; fender, ESP, Yamaha, and Ibanez.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which electric guitar offers the most superior clean sound?

In the quest for “the best” in any musical category, it’s important to remember that a good chunk of it comes down to personal preference. That said, some electric guitars are renowned more than others for their stunning clean sounds. The world of electric guitars is vast, with many unique models offering their own take on clean tone. Often, the factors that play into a quality clean sound include the guitar’s pickup configuration, the wood of the body, the strings you’re using, and even down to the pick you use. Ultimately, discovering the “best” will require personal exploration and testing. Play around, experiment, and always trust your ear!

What is a reliable, well-rounded electric guitar that offers consistent performance?

When one is searching for a versatile all-round electric guitar, it’s hard to go wrong with a classic Fender Stratocaster. This legendary guitar has been a staple in music across all genres, from rock to jazz, blues to country, and everything in between. A Stratocaster is known for its balanced tone that can be easily adjusted to fit a variety of musical styles, thanks to its three single-coil pickups configuration. Featuring a comfortable neck and smooth fretboard, many players find it wonderfully playable as well. However, remember that it’s not a one-size-fits-all, and you should always play a guitar before making a decision, or at least listen to samples if you’re shopping online.

For a clean tone, which type of guitar pickups do I go for?

When it comes to procuring a clean tone from an electric guitar, **single coil pickups** tend to be the preferred choice amongst many guitar aficionados. This type of pickup is noted for producing a bright and crisp sound that is perfect for playing clean or slightly overdriven tones. The Fender Stratocaster, for instance, typically comes equipped with single coils, helping bring out the phenomenal clean sound the guitar is famed for. Single coils are very much celebrated in the music industry; they’re featured on records by stellar artists across varied genres, such as Jimi Hendrix and John Mayer.

Who is renowned for having the best guitar tone in history?

When discussing the subject of “best guitar tone,” it’s difficult to single out just one artist, as this largely depends on individual taste. That said, there have been many guitarists throughout history who have captured a signature tone that is recognized and admired due to its unique character and quality. From the clean, chiming tones of Chet Atkins, to the saturated, buoyant sound of Jimi Hendrix, to the massive, arena-filling sounds of Jimmy Page or David Gilmour, there’s an endless amount of guitar tone flavors. One could spend a lifetime exploring and still find new shades to appreciate. Research, listen to a lot of music, and be inspired!


I'm Johnny, the guy behind Guitar Manifesto. I've been playing guitar since my teens and now that I'm in my 40s, I'm all about sharing what I've learned to help you become a better guitarist.

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